“Heavy is the Head that Wears a Crown”- Thoughts on Teaching and Leadership

Good evening, friends and neighbors! Only a short blog post this week because I spent much of the afternoon doing this months Live Bakealong, and, for reasons I’ll soon make clear, this week at the shop has been a bit more demanding than usual.

Long story made short, the bakery is hiring on more people- and I will be training and directing them. There are a couple large contracts coming down the line, and I will be leading the Pastry Prep team.

I am getting a team that I will need to train and organize.
It’s exciting, and I’m thrilled. Now I just need to stop being terrified.

*Imposter Syndrome intensifies*

Of all the skills I know/ have been told I have, the one that gets brought up most often to me lately is my knack for teaching and training people.

You’re so patient.”
You explain things well, and give the reason for things.”
You are engaging, kind, and enable people to do their work.”

No lie, I’m thrilled by all of that… and also kinda confused by it. I did get some training in leadership and teaching, but this might be the most insidious part of Impostor Syndrome- not really knowing when you’re doing it right. What’s more, these massive contracts that my team is being hired for are going to start “any day now…” so once I have my team, I will need to train them up to at least competency (if not proficiency), and organize their responsibilities.

My managers have faith that I can pull it off. I think I can too.

Ultimately, the single best antidote to Imposter Syndrome is doing the best you can, and being aware of it.

Tonight, as I sit here writing this, I’m sipping tea and discussing food history with a friend of mine. The “whys” and “hows” of cooking and baking are the most enjoyable parts of the field to me- given a chance and a couple whiskeys, there is a 1000% chance I will nerd out about obscure food history to interested ears at a bar.

Ultimately, skills are the easiest things to teach. Enough practice, focus, and diligence can make nearly anything possible. With new trainees, the harder part is keeping their spirits up and motivating when the reality- the work– of being in a bakery sets in. It’s at that point where it stops “sounding like fun-” and where the learning really starts. That’s the point where the love of the craft needs to take over- and teaching that can be pretty tough.

I like teaching people- through the blog, through videos, and in person- so let’s see if I can handle that being a bigger part of my job.

“An hour of practice is worth a week of theory.”

Stay Classy,

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